Weatherstripping isn’t a fun or sexy part of car restoration (or for your daily driver either) but it is a big part of the end result of your project. I’d say weatherstripping isn’t really something you appreciate most of the time….. unless it fails.
Weatherstripping is made of rubber (more specifically, ours is made of 100% EPDM rubber with no fillers) and goes around the doors, windows, trunk and other various openings of your car or truck to seal between the interior of your ride and all the things Mother Nature has to offer outside (water, dirt, wind, etc).
For doors and trunks, a squishy sponge rubber is used and has a little give in it to allow for compression for a good seal. For windows and windshields, a dense, hard rubber is used sealing out all that rain water beating directly down on them.
Failing weatherstripping can cause a lot of problems:
- wind noise and rattling windows making for a noisy ride
- water leaks that cause rust, mold and a stained interior
- heat and air conditioning will not stay in
Let’s say you’ve done your research and purchased and installed all new seals on your ride- now its time to talk maintenance. One of the most common questions we’re asked here at Steele is ‘What’s the best way to ensure your weatherstripping has a long life and is sealing the best that it can at all times?’
I’ve read a lot of chats and forums that tell you to use silicone spray, WD-40, armor all, grease and other like products. There are more companies than I can shake a stick at that promote their products for maintaining and extending the life of your weatherstripping. But, our experts here at Steele say this: All you need to do is keep the weatherstripping clean and dry and out of the sun when possible. That’s it.
This is not a matter of opinion, this is science. Like I mentioned earlier, our products are made of high quality EPDM rubber that is far more ozone resistant than the parts that originally came on your classic car. But one prevalent characteristic of EPDM rubber is that it has very poor resistance to solvents (petroleum distillates) and oils. Using the products recommended by others that I mentioned above can deteriorate the rubber- doing the exact opposite of what you set out to do in the first place!
** NEVER APPLY ANY RUBBER OR VINYL TREATMENT THAT HAS AN OILY OR GREASY NATURE OR CONTAINS PETROLEUM DISTILLATES TO EPDM RUBBER WEATHERSTRIPPING**
Different chemicals will impact rubber in different ways. Some will have a negative effect and others are fine to use but wont do anything to extend the life of the rubber. So, our advice is it’s better to be safe than sorry. Stick to everyday dish soap and water- clean them off, dry them off and you’re all set.
Steele not only has all the products you need but all the knowledge you need to get the job done right, too. If you have questions about Rubber Parts or Weatherstripping on your Classic Car, Truck or Hot Rod feel free to reach out to us! You can call us at 800-447-0849, contact us through our website at https://www.steelerubber.com/contact or comment on this post and we’ll get you answers as quickly as possible. Check out our YouTube channel for our full library of how-to/installation videos.
Steele Rubber Products, located in Denver, NC, is a manufacturer and seller of high quality rubber parts and weatherstripping products for classic and vintage automobiles, hot rods, RVs and Boats. Steele offers more than 12,000 parts for American made cars and trucks as well as a large line of universal weatherstripping and rubber parts to be used on any project. Established in 1958, Steele is a trusted name in the automotive restoration industry.